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How to Call Japan from the US?



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It’s no secret that Japan and the United States are among the most popular international calling destinations.

And it is also common for people to face difficulties when trying to make a personal or business call to Japan.

But don’t worry, now it’s time to end the struggle. ⌛

Making an international call can be done easily with the right resources and steps. And here we’ve brought a step-by-step guide on how to call Japan from the US.


  • To call Japan from the US, Dial US exit code), Japan Country code, followed by the area code (mobile code for mobile numbers), and finally dial the phone number.
  • The rate structure of a call varies, from $0.01/minute or $0.60/hour to rates as high as $3.00/minute or $180.00/hour.
  • There is a 16-hour time difference between the US West Coast and Japan.

Let’s get started! 👇

How to call Japan from the US? 

How to call Japan from the US

To call Japan from the US, Dial the US Exit Code(011), Japan Country code(081) followed by the area code( following by the 1-5 digits), finally, dial the phone number(4-8 digits)

  • 011-81-Area code -landline number (For Japan landline numbers)
  • 011-81- Area code- phone number(For Japan mobile number)
  • 011-81-toll-free-code-toll-free number (For Japan toll-free number) 

🔍 Where, 

  • 011 is the exit code of the USA
  • 81 is the Japan country code for international call
  • Area codes can be vary from 1-5 digits long
  • 4 to 8 digits subscriber’s number

For example, the cell number in Tokyo is 080-3654-5678; from a phone in the U.S., Dial 011 + 81(Japan Country Code) + 80-3654-5678. All Japanese cell phones have 070 or 090 as the first three digits. Important note: when dialing internationally, do not dial the first ’0’

How to dial a Japanese landline from the US?

To call a Japanese landline number from the US, dial Exit Code(011)– Country code(081)- Area code numberLandline number.

  1. Dial the US Exit Code for international Calling, i.e. 011
  2. Dial the country code for Japan, i.e. 081
  3. Enter area code of the city/ state of Japan
  4. Finally, dial Japan landline number

Japanese Landline number from the USA calling format is Dial: 011-81-Area code- Landline phone number.

👉 For example, +011 81 3 123456789

How to dial a Japanese mobile number from the US? 

To call a Japanese mobile number from the US, dial Exit Code(011)– Country code(081)- Mobile code numberMobile number.

  1. Dial the US exit code-011
  2. Dial the country code- 081
  3. Dial the mobile code number
  4. Dial the mobile number

☎️ A typical format to call a Japanese Landline number is +011 81 8012345678

How to call Japan toll-free numbers from the US?

To call a Japanese toll-free number from the US, Dial the U.S. International Access Code – Japan’s Country Code – Japan toll-free number –remaining digits

  • Dial the International Access Code: “011.”
  • Dial Japan’s Country Code: “81.”
  • Dial the Toll-Free Number: typically starts with “0120” or “0800.”
  • Remaining digits.

Format for calling a Japanese toll-free number from the USA: Dial 011 (U.S. international access code) + 81 (Japan’s country code) + 0120 (Japan toll-free number) +12375474 (remaining digits).

👉 For example, dial 011-81-0120-666-777.

🔍 Also Read: How to call the UK from the US easily

What are the things to consider before dialing Japan from the US?

Things to consider before dialing Japan from the US

While performing a call from the US to Japan, you should consider some of the following factors to ensure smooth communications with a cost-effective solution, which are explained below.

Types of Japanese phone numbers

There are three different types of Japanese phone numbers. 

  • Local numbers are the landline numbers used for locals within Japan. 
  • Mobile numbers, which are cell phone numbers starting with 70, 80, or 90.
  • Toll-free numbers, usually starting with 0120 or 0800. 

Also, for the emergency number, you can dial 110 for police and 119 for ambulance and fire service.

Japan Dialing Code

Whenever you make an international call, you must use a country-specific dialing code before entering the actual number of the caller. International call regulations can be made easier for telephone companies by using dialing codes based on country-specific standards. 

For example, if you are willing to call Japan from the U.S., you have to first key in the Japan dialing code, i.e., 81. In this way, your telecom network can direct the call correctly to the right country

Note: Japan is not part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). So, you must dial exit code 011 to make a call in Japan.

Exit Code

A country-specific exit code works similarly to a dialing code, but it must be entered even before a dialing code. Telecom networks use exit codes to determine that a call is international and should use the dialing code to route the call to the specified destination.

The exit code for the USA is 011. So, before you enter the Japanese dialing code, you must enter the exit code for Japan if you are calling from the US. 

Note: Nowadays, you no longer need to enter an exact exit code; instead, you simply enter the universal plus sign “+.”

Japanese area code

In Japan, each state and region has its own area code; prior to dialing, make sure the call is routed to the appropriate area code.  So here are some of the cities and their area codes you need to dial when calling these regions:

CityArea Code

Time Zone differences

Calling Japan is easy – but scheduling a call that works for everyone is not. Since Japan operates at its standard time, there is a 13+ hour difference between the US and Japan, which can make it difficult to schedule calls while everyone is awake.

The following is a comparison of the major time zones in the US and Japan Standard Time

  • Central Time: As Japan is 14 hours ahead of you, at 12 PM, you will be at 2 AM.
  • Mountain Time: By the time 12 PM rolls around, it will be 3 AM in Japan. And so on.

International Calling Rates 

The charges for international calls from the US may vary based on your network service provider and the specific plan you are subscribed to. It is important to check with your service provider to get accurate information about the calling rates. 

But not only the network providers but also the calling rates may depend on whether you’re calling a landline or a mobile phone in Japan. Therefore, compare rates between different carriers and methods of calling to find the most affordable option.

How much does it cost to call Japan from the USA?

The cost to call Japan from the USA varies and depends on several factors such as network service provider, type of phone number, specific plan you have, and also calling time. The average rate of a call varies, from as low as $0.01/minute or $0.60/hour to as high as $3.00/minute or $180.00/hour.

Also, considering activation fees and other hidden fees, the actual cost may be higher than you anticipated. 

✌️ You might be interested in How to Call Australia from the US

How do you reduce the call cost to Japan? 

Managing such an expensive expense is a challenge for most US business professionals. As a matter of fact, With only a few techniques and strategies, international calls can be made cheaper by reducing call costs, whether it be from the USA to Japan or any other country, it can be done effectively. 

The number one solution for that mighty problem is to use a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) based phone system. VoIP phone systems use the internet to make calls, so they don’t require any international call charges. 

Moreover, you can avoid peak times for potentially lower rates with some calling plans and Optimize good internet connection or data plans to ensure better call quality and avoid data charges. Also, consider forwarding calls to a local number or VoIP phone app if it is frequently unavailable.

Additionally, you can use a cloud-based VoIP phone system such as KrispCall so that you don’t even have to invest your budget on the initial hardware setup. Additionally, Cloud-based telephony offers advanced features such as call routing, call forwarding, call analytics, integrations, and many more at a very affordable price. 

👀 Have a look at How to Call Europe from the USA

3 Alternative Ways to Make International Calls to Japan 

Alternative Ways to Make International Calls to Japan 

1.  Using Virtual Japanese Numbers 

Using a virtual number, you can significantly pay lower charges than international roaming charges, which allows you to increase your scalability and maintain a local presence as well. 

Moreover, you can use the same number from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access and manage calls, voicemail, and call forwarding easily through the app.

2. Using VoIP Apps Like WhatsApp/Messenger

Use internet-based calling apps that allow you to make voice or video calls over the internet. Apps like Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Google Duo, or Zoom are popular choices. If you and the person you’re calling both have the app installed and a stable internet connection, these calls can be free or significantly cheaper than traditional phone calls

3. Using Japan Calling Cards 

You can purchase international cards, which allows you to make a call at a discount rate. Dial an access number, then the Japanese phone number. You can find these cards at convenience stores, online retailers, or through various service providers.

Also, follow the instructions provided with the card to make other international call. Be aware of any fees associated with the card, such as connection fees or per-minute charges.

👀 Take a look at: How to Call Germany from the USA

Challenges while calling Japan from the US 

While calling Japan from the US offers many opportunities, it also comes with many challenges, which include:

Technical hurdles

Since there is a 16-hour time difference between the US West Coast and Japan, finding a convenient time to talk can be challenging. Regardless of VoIP phone apps that strongly rely on internet connections, if one participant has unreliable issues, then communication disruptions might occur. 

Cultural considerations

Japanese communication style tends to be indirect and polite, whereas the US caller’s directness might need adjustment. Using business etiquette like formal greetings, honorific speech usage, and active listening can help to enhance relationships between them.

Language barriers

English may not be the first language for everyone in Japan, and language barriers could arise. It’s helpful to be patient, so use clear and simple language and consider using translation services or interpreters if necessary.

International calling costs

Since International calling rates can be expensive, make sure you understand the costs associated with calling Japan with your phone carrier. Consider using internet-based calling apps or services to reduce expenses.

💡Don’t Miss: How to Call Malaysia from the USA

Business Phone Call Etiquette in Japan: Dos and Don’ts 

Dos and Don’ts of Business Phone Call Etiquette in Japan

Adapting to the cultural differences of Japanese business etiquette is crucial for successful communication. So, being aware of these dos and don’ts can help you to create a positive and respectful impression during business phone calls in Japan.

✅ Do’s 

  • Be polite and use appropriate honorifics.
  • Be punctual and call at the scheduled time, which shows respect towards them.
  • Express gratitude at the end of the phone call, which can leave a positive impression.


  • Avoid interrupting the speaker because it can be perceived as rude. 
  • Avoid speaking too casually or in loud voices.
  • Don’t over-emphasize individual achievement.
🔍 Also Read: How to Call Guatemala from USA

Final Words 

Making a call to Japan from the US requires only a few steps. You can follow those steps along with this article. Keep in mind that you should be aware of essential factors such as the time zone difference, the area code, the calling rates, and the country code for Japan. 

In addition to this, for those who are worried about their international calling bills, don’t forget to check out KrispCall. With affordable pricing plans starting at only $15 per month, it’s one of the best VoIP telephony solutions on the market. 

Experience the convenience and value of KrispCall’s services and get in touch with your Japanese contacts effortlessly.


What is an International Call to Japan? 

Calls that are made within Japan from outside the country are known as international calls to Japan. It involves dialing a specific sequence of numbers to connect to the desired cell phone number in Japan.

You need to dial the country code for Japan, i.e. 081 when making an international call to Japan phone number. There are many ways to call Japan from the US, such as using VoIP apps, international cards, and so on.

What is the + 81 country code?

The +81 is the country code for Japan to make calls from outside Japan.

How do I dial a +81 number?

To dial a +81 number, you need to follow the international dialing format, which includes the exit code, country code, area code, and local phone number.

How long are Japanese phone numbers?

Since a Japanese phone number consists of 10 to 11 digits, including area code, altogether it looks like  011-81-3-123-4567.

Can I call Japan from the US for free?

Definitely, yes, you can easily call Japan from the US for free through WiFi calling, messaging apps with calling features, VoIP apps, and other alternatives. 

How to call Japan from a US cell phone?

To call Japan from the US cell phone, dial the exit code (011), then dial Japan’s country code(81), again press the area code(3), then dial the local Japan phone number which includes 8-9 digits. Format looks like 011-81-3-123-4567.

What is the cheapest way to call Japan from the US?

The cheapest way to call Japan from the US is by using one of the many available options, which are VoIP services, international calling cards, discounted calling platforms, and internet calling apps like WhatsApp, Google Voice, etc.

Do I need to dial the area code when calling Japan from the US?

Yes, you’ll need to include the area code (excluding the initial ‘0’) when calling Japan from the US. This is necessary for connecting to the correct region within Japan.

How many hours ahead is Japan Standard Time (JST) from the US?

Japan Standard Time (JST) is typically ahead of US time zones. The exact number of hours ahead depends on the specific region of the US and whether daylight saving time is in effect. Generally, Japan is approximately 14 to 17 hours ahead of the US mainland.

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Dinesh Silwal

Dinesh Silwal is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of KrispCall. For the past few years, he has been advancing and innovating in the cloud telephony industry, using AI to enhance and improve telephony solutions, and driving KrispCall to the forefront of the field.

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